NORTH WAZIRISTAN: Eight soldiers were martyred in two terrorist attacks in North Waziristan on Thursday, security sources said.

In one incident, seven soldiers were martyred when terrorists ambushed a vehicle of security forces in Datakhel tehsil of North Waziristan tribal district. In the second incident, which took place in Isham area of the district, a solider was martyred in a clash between security forces and terrorists.

As for the first attack, officials said the terrorists attacked a moving vehicle of the security forces in Datakhel near the Afghan border. Sources said the insurgents used a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and assault guns in the attack.

Seven soldiers embraced martyrdom in the attack, officials told the media in Miramshah, the district headquarters of North Waziristan.

The martyred soldiers have been identified as Havaldar Tariq, Sepoy Arshad, Sepoy Kashif, Sepoy Junaid, Sepoy Ijaz Ali, Sepoy Waqas and Sepoy Jawad Mir. Their bodies were shifted in a military helicopter to Miramshah.

Sources said that a search operation in the area was in progress. According to reports, security personnel also retaliated but casualties on the militant side could not be ascertained.

The ISPR has yet to confirm the attack or issue a formal statement.

This major attack comes at the heels of a deadly attack in the southern district of Dera Ismail Khan three days ago which left five policemen dead and four wounded.

Unlike other areas of North Waziristan, Datakhel is considered a relatively safe sanctuary for terrorist groups. Security forces have yet to clear the area and hundreds of displaced families are still waiting to return to their homes.

In the second attack, a fire exchange took place between troops and terrorists in the Isham area of North Waziristan district, in which 28-year-old Sepoy Asmatullah Khan of Mianwali embraced martyrdom, military media wing ISPR said.

Sanitisation of the area is being carried out to eliminate any terrorists found in the area.

Pakistan Army is determined to eliminate the menace of terrorism and such sacrifices of our brave soldiers further strengthen our resolve, said the security sources.

The incidents on Thursday have raised the tally of terrorist attacks on security forces to three this week in the Waziristan region of erstwhile Fata.

On Monday, a check-post of security forces came under attack in the South Waziristan district, in which an army major and a soldier were martyred while two personnel were wounded. Two terrorists were also killed during the exchange of fire with the security forces in that attack.

The DG ISPR told a presser on Thursday that 97 officers and soldiers had embraced martyrdom in the first three months of this year. With eight more embracing martyred on Thursday, the tally goes up to 105.

He said 128 militants had been killed in the corresponding period, while 270 had been arrested.

Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2022

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